NASL'S Aaron Davidson dishes on Carolina RailHawks' dissolution, auction; new team will start "from scratch" | Sports

NASL'S Aaron Davidson dishes on Carolina RailHawks' dissolution, auction; new team will start "from scratch"


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Aaron Davidson
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  • Aaron Davidson
After weeks of avoiding interviews about the future of the Carolina RailHawks, Aaron Davidson, CEO of the North American Soccer League (NASL), lifted the veil over the dissolution and sale of the Carolina RailHawks, revealing details yesterday evening on a New Jersey-based podcast.

Appearing on Dan Feuerstein’s Internet radio show, Feuerstein’s Fire, Davidson discussed a variety of topics related to the NASL and its ongoing attempt to obtain sanctioning as a D-2 soccer league from the U.S. Soccer Federation. However, he spent a large amount of the interview speaking about the departure of Selby Wellman, the RailHawks' former majority owner, and the recent sale of the club’s trademark on an eBay online auction.

Davidson said it was unfortunate that the Wellman family “just decided that they’d had enough,” and that Selby Wellman had “got tired and frustrated with the process…and [wanted] to retire.” Davidson said that litigation—presumably against Wellman—was considered.

“But,” Davidson asked rhetorically, “are we going to make real progress by continuing to spend legal money and sue people or are we going to be proactive and make things work?”

Davidson revealed that after Wellman informed the NASL that he did not wish to continue being an owner, Wellman and Traffic Sports USA worked to bring in another unnamed investor, but that did not materialize.

Instead, Davidson says Traffic will be starting a club "from scratch" in Carolina, and that Dr. Paul Singh (d/b/a Singh Holdings, Inc.), formerly a minority owner of the RailHawks, would remain an investor in the new Cary-based soccer club. Davidson stressed that Traffic did not “buy out” the RailHawks from Wellman: “He did not give us anything, nothing.”

According to Davidson, the decision to auction of the RailHawks’ trademark, brand, logo, domain name, and mascot via eBay was designed to create a transparent, arms-length transaction for legal purposes. He revealed that Traffic did, indeed, win the eBay auction for the RailHawks’ brand. However, that does not guarantee the new soccer club in Cary will retain that name.

“The Wellmans and [their] lawyers are doing what they have to do, I guess,” said Davidson. “They’re protecting their interests and their legal rights and whatever claims they might have against them by creditors. And, if we get an agreement, we’ll play as the RailHawks. If we don’t, we have a couple of other options for names.”

Davidson said that the dissolution of the RailHawks and the entry of Traffic into the Cary market was not a problem per se affecting NASL’s attempt to obtain D-2 sanctioning. However, “it didn’t help us to have that gentleman, Selby Wellman—given the amount of time and money he’s put into the team and league—to pull out of the sport of soccer now.”

Click here to listen to Davidson's full interview: after the introductory commercial, fast-forward to around 19:00. There is still no word on when Davidson, representatives of Traffic or front office personnel for the new Cary-based soccer club will directly address the RailHawks’ Triangle-based fans or local media.


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